MABTON - In the league opener for both teams yesterday, Mabton's girls fastpitch team played LaSalle close in both ends of a doubleheader.
The Lady Vikings hung on for a 4-3 first game win, then lost the nightcap 6-4.
"The girls did real well, LaSalle's a pretty good team," observed Coach Jesus Sustaita. "We struggled at the bat. Our defense was decent, but we had a couple of errors that led to some scores."
Alida Mendoza hurled a complete game in the opener, striking out nine LaSalle batters.
"She was phenomenal," said Mabton Assistant Coach Dave Mendoza. "She held them to four hits."
With the contest knotted at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Vikings' Jessica Orozco delivered a two-run single that proved to be the game winning hit.
Mendoza also received support in the field, as Mabton right fielder Dianna Valle came up with diving catches to bottle potential rallies by the Lightning.
Mabton's struggles at the plate would prove costly in the game two loss.
LaSalle pushed across two runs in the first and third innings to grab a 4-3 lead and never looked back.
Mendoza relieved starter Josie Chase in the fourth inning, holding the Lightning to just two runs over the final four innings, while striking out seven.
Mabton stayed close, plating a single run in the sixth inning to make it a 5-4 game. LaSalle responded with an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Trailing 6-4, the Lady Vikings had two runners on base and the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but could not deliver.
"Our pitching and defense are doing well early in the season, but you have to hit to win at this game," said Dave Mendoza. "We had our chances, but we have to have confidence that we're going to make the plays."
Mabton (1-1, 3-2) is home again tomorrow for a non-league game against Granger.
LAS 100 101 0 3-4-1
MAB 002 020 x 4-6-1
LAS 202 010 1 6-6-2
MAB 111 001 0 4-3-2